Mexican drug-running cartel is a local crisis
In a massive sweep to help eradicate the foothold that the Corona Varrio Locos and the Mexican Mafia have in the Inland Empire, last June more than 300 officers worked together to seize $47,800 in cash, 50 firearms, a stolen car, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, seven pounds of methamphetamine, 10 grams of cocaine, and a pound of marijuana; previous raids netted $1.6 million in illegal drugs.
Officials stated the gang is active in other Inland Empire communities as well as correctional facilities in the county. The Varrio Locos is an offshoot of a Southern California gang known as the Sureños Gang, and Riverside County is the largest operating center for the Mexican Mafia in America.
Did you know that Americans pay more than $64 billion each year for drugs smuggled into our country? That’s more than the retail sales of Sears and Macy’s combined! The majority of these drugs are manufactured in Mexico; however most of the cocaine comes from South America. The production in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia remains constant at about 900 tons a year.
The largest drug trafficking hub in America has been built right here in Riverside County.
In April, Arkansas State Police found $10 million worth of meth in a semi on I-40. The truck came from Riverside County. Another semi was stopped on I-10, coming from the border to a warehouse in Riverside County, containing 2,650 pounds of cocaine, 66 pounds of heroin and 19 tons of marijuana on stacked pallets.
The Sinaloa Cartel has been linked to 90 percent of the drugs moving through this area. If they do not move the drugs, they tax those who do! Once the smugglers pass Calexico, they either head north on SR-86 or travel west on I-15 toward and through Temecula, Corona and Riverside. The drugs then settle into stash houses, which masquerade as family homes and legitimate businesses.
Robert L. (Bob) Haunschild, Hemet
Burger Bash always a fun event
How nice it was to read an article about a great, happy community event like the Hamburger Bash, which we refer to as the “Burger Bash.” This event is a community event — not only do we get all the food except the burger patties donated, this year Grocery Outlet donated all the burger buns. All the Raffle prizes and boutique items are also donated.
It was great to see the pictures of the burger cooks, and the little girl winning the raffle and of course the doll house, handmade and donated by Building the Way, another great nonprofit. We raised more than $3,000 for San Jacinto schools this year. This is a fun time for all, held on the first Saturday in March, so mark your calendar now not to miss out on a great burger and a fun time.
Lynn Peterson, President, Community Builders